Jefferson County Bell Hill Road Project
Jefferson County Roads and Transportation held a public meeting on April 19, 2021 to answer questions from the public on the proposed Bell Hill Road project. Approximately 100 people attended the three hour meeting. The following is a link to the maps that were shown at the meeting as well as some of the questions that were asked. If you have additional questions on this project please contact Roads and Transportation at 205-325-5141. Scroll down to see additional projects in the area coming in 2023 - 2025.
Why is the project being done?
There has been a significant amount of development that has occurred and is ongoing down Pocahontas Rd that had created poor levels of service at the intersection of Bell Hill Rd and Pocahontas Rd and intersection improvements at this location had been included in the County’s planned projects before the site was selected for the hospital development. The opening of the new school and several new planned subdivisions in the area will further impact the poor operation of the intersection necessitating the planned improvements.
How much will it cost?
While the project has not been bid yet, estimated cost is around $6 to $8-million and will be funded by Jefferson County.
How long will it take?
The project is scheduled to bid in April 2023 with construction starting in June 2023 to Sept. 2024
Will Bell Hill Road have to be closed for this construction?
Citizens can expect travel lane closures, however, Bell Hill Road will remain open at all times and access to businesses and residences will be maintained.
Is Jefferson County acquiring property by eminent domain?
Jefferson County is required by law to follow a specific process in acquiring property for public projects. The first step is evaluating the right of way needs for the project and communicating with residents regarding those impacts. A federally established valuation process is followed, to determine the level of impact to each property owner as a result of the project. Additional design modifications may also result, as all efforts are made to reduce or eliminate impacts where possible while still supporting the roadway operation needs. While taking property by eminent domain is possible, it is the last step after all other efforts have been made.
Why a roundabout?
Roundabouts provide a number of benefits over traditional signalized intersections including:
- Fewer and less severe crashes
- Lower vehicle speeds
- Less vehicle pollution because care are not stopped at a traffic light
- Pedestrian safety because you cross one direction of traffic at a time
- Increased intersection operational efficiency
Will there be a traffic signal at Letson Farms and the new widened Bell Hill Road?
A traffic signal at this location is not a part of the current project. A traffic study will be conducted following completion of the project and hospital to see if traffic counts warrant a signal.
What is being done about drainage in the area?
An in-depth hydraulic study has been performed to evaluate the condition and functionality of existing and proposed drainage structures within the project limits and surrounding areas. The project will include the addition of curb and gutter along the roadways with piped drainage networks to handle storm water on the roadway and the replacement/remediation of existing drainage facilities found to be deficient or damaged. A series of permanent detention basins will be constructed along the project to control storm water discharges and improve water quality.
Will there be sidewalks?
Yes, sidewalks will be included along Bell Hill Road from Eastern Valley Road to Pocahontas. This is to improve citizen accessibility and increase recreational opportunities for the community.
Who came up with this plan?
The County evaluated the site and developed a preliminary alternative for the Bell Hill Rd/Pocahontas corridor. Jefferson County then retained engineering design consultants, AECOM, to evaluate the proposed alternative and complete the design.
Additional McCalla area projects coming in first quarter of 2023 - 2025:
- Old Tuscaloosa Hwy @ Lowetown Rd: County is finalizing design plans for the widening of Old Tuscaloosa Hwy near the intersection of Lowetown Rd. Old Tuscaloosa Hwy will be widened to 4 lanes with a divided grass median and will include the construction of a roundabout at Lowetown Rd. Roadway construction is anticipated to begin in April 2023 with an estimated completion of July 2024. Impacts to the traveling public will include temporary lane closures and lane diversions as construction progresses.
- McAshan Dr @ I-20/59 Interchange Improvements Project: In partnership with ALDOT, the County has begun design development for Interchange improvements at McAshan Dr @ I-20/59. Improvements will include widening of McAshan Dr from the I-20/59 to Bay Drive to 5 lanes and the construction of an additional overpass bridge to accommodate the installation of a diverging diamond interchange configuration. Construction is anticipated to begin in the first quarter of 2024.
- Old Tuscaloosa Hwy Widening from McAshan Dr to the County Line: The County has begun design development for the widening of Old Tuscaloosa Hwy from McAshan Dr to the County Line. Improvements will include the widening of Old Tuscaloosa Hwy to 4 lanes with a divided grass median. The project is scheduled to bid in the first quarter of 2024 and construction is anticipated to begin in the Summer of 2024.
- Eastern Valley Rd @ I-459 Interchange Improvements Project: County has begun the concept validation phase for planned improvements to the interchange of Eastern Valley Rd @ I-459 The Eastern Valley corridor from Letson Farms Pkwy to Promenade Pkwy is being evaluated for intersection modification, lane reconfiguration, and signal optimization to improve the traffic operations through the area. Construction is anticipated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2024.
- Morgan Rd / Lakeshore Pkwy Widening and Realignment Project: The project consists of realigning Morgan Rd and Lakeshore Pkwy to form a single intersection at Hwy 150. Improvements include the widening of Morgan Rd to 5 lanes from Hopewell Rd to Hwy 150. Construction is anticipated to begin in the Summer of 2024.